Should agriculture be taxable in India?

angeldude13

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I've been to villages and talked to some farmer and have seen how things work.

You cannot earn more than 80 to 90 thousand from 10 bigha land while doing traditional farming that most of the farmers do. Farming sucks big time.
 
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Idea is good on paper but not practical to implement. First of all farming is all cash business. Secondly income is not linear or predictable and is extremely irregular, so how are you going to identify income levels!!! Fo9r a particular harvest you may make millions and next harvest you find it difficult to afford 2 meals a day.
  1. All cash it isn't fornalised.
  2. It doesn't make sense to do a business which makes you prone to even living without 2 meals a day. What are we supporting? Even companies pay taxes despite undergoing losses.
On the contrary agriculture is giving employment to many individuals. Which sector you plan to accomdite this so-called surplus man-power and what you plan to stop importing after you get this so-called surplus man-power. With unemployment on rise it's wrong to criticize that you don't have manpower to build other sector as agriculture is hogging man-power.
The kind of losses you bear, the extent of debt in which you get engulfed compared to your capability and living in extreme poverty, can't be justified just by getting employment.
In a difficult weather in where India is moving, any individual committed with capital alone is definitely either going to suffer himself or he will make financial institutions to suffer.
A large fraction of India's population in agriculture isn't any employability & merit, its a big problem for India. Unskilled workers in my neighborhood factory live it better than farmers.
I take you haven't done forming or seen farming up-close.
My grandpa was one.

Not wishing to generalize, one of my batchmates in college got all set in 3 semesters consecutively but he was so happy & numb. Said he will go back to village and start farming. Government will provide every facility needed and even pay off his losses.
Today, that guy is running anti incumbency propaganda on FB here and protesting in every rally he finds against government
A farmer will only grow and harvest his produce. Collection, transport and selling is done by other set of individuals. No farmer bother's himself with these task.
Same thing, he will pay for it then like we pay to transporters in corporates.
If a farmer tries to sell his produce directly he will end up ruing his next cycle's produce and his farm in general.
Exactly, forced formalisation and manipulation of cycle is solution. Exempting from taxes & waiver of loans are pure political tools.
 

sthf

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You can't unless the governments do away with MSP and loan waivers. Taxing something on which neither the market forces nor the individual has any control is a bad idea.
 

indus

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The problem is manifold. Average size of landholding in India is small as compared to European / US levels. So the amount of produce also is limited which leads to small profit margin. Making farming a loss making activity. Now the well off farmers have gradually shifted to cash rich crops like veggies, flowers, milk prodn, cotton, pulses, oilseeds etc which are mostly insulated from price drops, demand variations etc. Though there are exceptions in these crops too.
The farmer in problem is the one who produces foodgrain. They are the biggest recipients of loan waivers and need MSP support too. Because their produce doesnt fetch them good price if left to market forces. Before taxing the farmer some changes have to be made in the way agriculture is carried out in India.
First size of land holding shld be increased. Many farmers or farmers of same family shld be asked to join their landholdings ( like a JV or consortia) and grow as a single field. This will allow greater mechanisation and lead to an economy of scale to develop.
Two. Adopt organic farming methods at mass levels instead of pouring more chemicals in soil which increasing salinity of soil, making them less fertile and poisoning food and water bodies. This will also reduce cost of farming.
Three. Adoption of local weather resistant varieties of seeds rather than genetically modified ones. Biodiversity of crops is an issue which the MNCs are prying upon. The diversity of crops shld not be reduced to achieve standardisation.
Four. Levy a basic rate of income tax on the profit generated at the end of farm cycle. Since JDY accounts have penetrated villages also, all debit of loan waivers, insurance etc shld be totally on DBT basis.
 

Immanuel

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Farming in India works when one has bigger swathes of land, one uses modern scientific methods and is patient. Also a genuine interest and passion in farming also helps keep resolve since there are several challenges even for well funded and pragmatic farmers. Increasingly, the very least one needs to have is scientific methods. One can have tremendous yields from smaller plots if they know how to do so.

My dad's now retired into farming for the last 5 years. 40+ acres in India, 1000 Mango trees, 1000 Sweet Lime, 100 Chikku trees, rotates leguminous crops rest of the year to keep soil healthy, peanuts, watermelon, cluster beans, papaya, banana, tomatoes, onions, paddy. He grows a lot of his own food, kept an acre just for home produce. He is getting into chickens, has a few goats, a few cows etc. Overall there is progress over the years, I don't mind that he pays taxes. He is also shocked how underutilized programs like Krishi Vignyan centers are. Being one of the biggest farms in that region, he was delighted to see the enthusiasm among these folk. They did give him good advice, they help in the soil tests, check for nutrient deficiency etc. He found very good, well trained and educated agriculturists at these centers but many of the poor farmers are reluctant to their help & advice.
 

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